PG&E Seeks Storage Bids

By Published On: November 20, 2014

On Dec. 1, Pacific Gas & Electric will solicit 74 MW of energy storage projects as required by the California Public Utilities Commission. That solicitation includes requests for proposals at five of its substations, which connect to distribution lines. The projects are to “enable PG&E to defer otherwise necessary investments at up to five distribution substations,” according to a Nov. 10 California Public Utilities Commission ex parte notice. PG&E ultimately plans to purchase the successful projects. All the storage projects are to take excess power from the grid, store it and release it when demand is high, said Paul Moreno, PG&E spokesperson. The quintet of substations outlined in the storage solicitation consists of: • Shingle Springs in El Dorado County; • Point Arena; • Redwood Valley in Mendocino; • Molino in Sebastopol; and • Old Kearney Substation in Fresno. The storage projects are supposed to be able to supply power for up to two hours for all but the Shingle Springs substation, where four hours of supply is needed. Edward Cazalet, MegaWatt Storage Farms vice president, recommended that California focus on the procurement of “fast, clean and deep” storage—the latter referring to storage with six hours of duration. PG&E also has 6 MW of battery storage projects. One is a 4 MW sodium sulfur battery at its San Jose substation that can store up to six hours of juice. The other is a 2 MW project in Vacaville. The San Jose project was awarded a $3.3 million grant from the California Energy Commission March 2013.

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